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The Department has a long tradition of hosting independent research fellows, many of whom have gone on to independent academic careers either in Durham or entered industry. Informal enquiries about research fellowships should be made with individual members of academic staff or the Head of Department.

Schemes are listed below, along with an indication of typical application deadlines. Please check the scheme website itself for definitive information.


Deadline Info - please see individual grant websites for this year's dates.

Historic / Indicative Deadline info

Durham University Fellowships


COFUND: Durham International Junior Research Fellowships

This EU and Durham University sponsored scheme is designed for scholars, researchers, policy makers or practitioners across the full spectrum of science, social science, arts and humanities to address themes of global significance in collaboration with Durham's Research Institutes and researchers.

Up to 15 Junior Research Fellowship places are advertised each year, aimed at postdoctoral researchers typically with 2-5 years post-doctoral experience. Following 2 years pursuing new research ideas of their own design, JRFs should be of a standing and maturity to win permanent positions.


COFUND: Durham International Senior Fellowships

The EU-sponsored Durham International Fellowships for Research and Enterprise (DIFeREns) allows international scholars, researchers, policy makers or practitioners across the full spectrum of science, social science, arts and humanities the opportunity to address themes of global significance in collaboration with Durham's Research Institutes and researchers. There are two types of Senior Fellow: Senior Research Fellowships and Policy and Enterprise Fellowships

Up to 17 Fellowships will be available historically split as follows: 10 Senior Research Fellowships and 7 Policy and Enterprise Fellowships.


Christopherson-Knott Fellowships (IAS)

An internal fellowship scheme for Durham staff.

Call for applications: October.

Deadline: November.

UK Fellowships


NERC Independent Research Fellowships

"The NERC Independent Research Fellowship (IRF) Scheme is designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career environmental scientists, by giving all fellows five years' support, which will allow them sufficient time to develop their research programmes and to gain international recognition." -- NERC Website

Call opens: June.

Deadline: usually early October.

Royal Society University Research Fellowships

This scheme is for outstanding scientists 3-8 years post-PhD who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. Funding is for 5 years with a possibility to extend to 8.

Call opens: July.

Deadline: early September.

Outcome: following May.

Royal Society Newton Fellowships

Aimed at researchers wishing to build and maintain links with leading researchers in the UK.

Call opens: January.

Closes: April.

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships

This scheme is for outstanding scientists in the UK at an early stage of their research career who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health issues. Female candidates are particularly invited to apply.

Deadline: January, annualy.

Leverhulme Fellowships (50% funding for 3 years)

Three year Early Career Fellowships aim to provide career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers but with a proven record of research. It is anticipated that a Fellowship will lead to a more permanent academic position.

Next call opens: January

Closes: March.


1851 Fellowships (50% funding)

Three year fellowship intended to give early career scientists or engineers of exceptional promise an opportunity to conduct a research project of their own instigation


Next call opens: October.

Deadline: February.


EPSRC Fellowships

Applicants are expected to hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience; however, there are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience or whether you hold (or do not hold) a permanent academic position.

No deadline. 

Ramsay Fellowships

British Ramsay Fellowships are awarded annually by the Ramsay Memorial Fellowships Trust to postdoctoral chemists in the early stages of their career, so that they may conduct original and independent research at universities in the United Kingdom.

Deadline: November.

STFC Rutherford fellowship

Ernest Rutherford Fellowships are intended for early career researchers who do not have an academic position.


Lindeman Trust Fellowships (for USA)

The Lindemann Trust Fellowships are awarded to graduates of exceptional promise in both the pure and applied physical sciences who have shown capacity for producing original research. Up to three grants a year worth $30,000 each for postdoctoral scientists to carry out research in the USA.

Opens: October.

Deadline: February.

EU Fellowships


ERC Starting Grant

ERC Starting Grants aim to support up-and-coming research leaders who are about to establish a proper research team and to start conducting independent research in Europe. The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders. It will support the creation of excellent new research teams.

Please check ERC website.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships/Grants Please check ERC website